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Association between interleukin 1β and interleukin 10 concentrations: a cross-sectional study in young adolescents in Taiwan

Jung-Su Chang1, Chun-Chao Chang23, Eve Yiwen Chien1, Sean S-H Lin1, Tsai Cheng-Shiuan4, Chyi-Huey Bai5 and Kuo-Ching Chao23*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C

2 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C

3 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, College of medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, 110, Taiwan R.O.C

4 School of Public Health, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C

5 Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C

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BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:123  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-123

Published: 14 August 2013



In adults, low circulating interleukin 10 (IL10) has been associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, studies investigating IL10 in overweight and obese children have yielded conflicting results. The aim of this study was to investigate factors associated with serum IL10 concentration in young Chinese adolescents.


Young adolescents (n=325) ages 13.33±1.10 years were recruited into the cross-sectional study from 2010 to 2011. Parameters of obesity, individual components of MetS, iron status and serum IL10 were evaluated.


Compared with their normal weight counterparts, overweight adolescents had lower serum IL10 but higher TNFα, nitric oxide (NO) and IL1β concentrations (all p<0.05). Obese adolescents had increased IL1β but decreased hepcidin concentration compared with normal weight (p<0.01 and p<0.05; respectively). A strong inverse relationship (p<0.0001) was found between IL10 and pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFα and IL1β). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed serum IL1β was significantly correlated with IL10 (β=−0.156, p<0.0001). When overweight and obese adolescents were assessed separately from normal weight, only IL1β was inversely associated with serum IL10 (β=−0.231, p=0.0009). The association between IL10 and IL1β was weaker in adolescents with normal weight (β=−0.157, p=0.0002), after adjusting for gender, TNFα, IFNγ and NO.


Our study confirmed that low IL10 concentration is associated with overweight and obesity in young adolescents. We also demonstrated for the first time that pro-inflammatory cytokine IL1β is independently associated with IL10. A decline in IL10 concentration in overweight and obese adolescents may further contribute to the IL1β-mediated inflammatory environment associated with obesity.

IL10; IL1β; Overweight and obese adolescents; Taiwan